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controversial headlight cleaning procedure (pixshures)

Discussion in 'How-To's' started by ryanrules, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. escortRPG

    escortRPG Guest

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    I just tried it... i'll see if it stays lookin good. its not 100% perfect by any means, but it does look better. At least for now.
  2. Floridagrown

    Floridagrown New Member

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    If these procedures scare you, try getting some Turlte Wax rubbing compound and any kind of cleaner wax. A terry cloth would be ideal for the scrubbing steps.
    Start by using a quarter size amount of rubbing compound on a terry cloth and begin scrubbing the lense while applying moderate pressure from side to side. Do the whole lense for at least 45 seconds.
    Let dry. Do not buff off.
    Apply about a nickel size amount of cleaner wax directly to the dried compound and wax in circular motions using moderate pressure until completely coated. Allow to dry. Finally, with a clean, dry terry cloth, buff off all dried wax. This should bring clearness back at least 95%. I own an '02 Sentra with plastic lenses and it works beautiful.
  3. Doohickie

    Doohickie FEOA Member

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    Thanks, ryanrules; it worked great!

    I think it works better for lenses that are not simply transparent covers, but actually diffuse the light (and have all the little shapes on the back).

    Remember this involves wiping a solvent (carb cleaner, throttle body cleaner, brake cleaner) over the front of the lights to dissovle the film off the headlight lens. The actual operation just takes a second or two, but you need to protect the the things around the headlight from this potent solvent.

    Items needed:

    1. Newspaper
    2. Lint-free shop towels or an old T-shirt
    3. Bug and Tar Remover (optional)
    4. Strong solvent (carb, throttle body or brake cleaner):
    [​IMG]

    Step 1a: Remove headlights from car.
    - or -
    Step 1b: Protect the things around the headlight. Since the whole point of this How-To is to be lazy, this is recommended. :D I simply took a whole section of newspaper and stuffed it in around the headlight. (I removed the grill because it's really easy.)

    [​IMG]

    2. Your headlights should start out clean. If they are not, use the bug and tar remover to clean the headlights before using the strong solvent.

    3. Crumble up the lint-free shop towel or T-shirt into a ball. Spray enough cleaner on it to soak it in a local area.

    4. If there are little aiming nubs on your headlight lens, rub up and down on either side of the nub. Then rub in even strokes side-to-side all the way across the lens until you've wiped off the whole lens. Do this as quickly as possible. When you wipe the solvent, you are actually dissolving off the top layer of your headlight lens.
    [​IMG]

    If you are not pleased with the results the first time (not even, too many streaks, whatever), let the solvent dry completely (this doesn't take long, about 30 seconds), spray more solvent on your rag until it is soaking again, and wipe the lens again. Be careful about doing this too many times. When finished, my lens looked like this:

    Right Side Before:
    [​IMG]

    Right Side After:
    [​IMG]

    Left Side Before:
    [​IMG]

    Left Side After:
    [​IMG]
  4. jlongoria9

    jlongoria9 Guest

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    let us know how long they last :)
  5. waterboy9000

    waterboy9000 Guest

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    thanks man this helped me out a ton! i just did it to my 3rd gen check out my lights after!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  6. jlongoria9

    jlongoria9 Guest

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    what r u guys using (carb cleaner, brake parts... etc.)
  7. Doohickie

    Doohickie FEOA Member

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    I used brake parts cleaner (see the pic in my post)
  8. me19875

    me19875 New Member

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    has anybodies lights turned back to yellow yet? anybody tried any sort of clear coat on the lights?

    i didn't really notice how yellowed my lights were until i put the tracer corners on the other day 8O with the tracer corners on now they look BAD. I have some brake cleaner so i'll probably do it soon.
  9. waterboy9000

    waterboy9000 Guest

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    my oxidized a little after what like 2 weeks now. But i tried again last night but after i did it i wiped it dry and i believe that doing that is going to keep it clean
  10. ValleyScort96

    ValleyScort96 New Member

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    i did this a while back and its still holding down on a relatively humid gulf coast. i used brake fluid. pretty much like everyone says soak a rag and go to town. every one comments during the day how nice the blue headlights look. and that is when they are turned off.
  11. Doohickie

    Doohickie FEOA Member

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    I tried it on a friend's car; they were both yellow and hazy. Funny thing is that they are no longer hazy but the yellow color remained. I suspect it was picking up reflections from the edges of the lens (it was on an old Crown Vic).
  12. white95escort

    white95escort New Member

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    Mothers aluminum and mag polish from discount auto.

    [​IMG]

    in about two minutes it cleaned up the right light and i now have to do the left. just put a little bit of that polish on your fingers and rub the light until it turns blackish, then wipe it off with a clean rag and your done. repeat multiple times to make it clearer than new. of course this works really good if the inside part of your lens isn't trashed.
  13. JB95LX

    JB95LX New Member

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    ditto on the mothers mag and aluminum polish i got this after two light applications of the stuff
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  14. marclar

    marclar Administrator Staff Member

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    this is what i learned working at KENS AUTOBODY port orchard WA (incase anyone wants to bomb the place)
    when a customer came in, payed 149.99$ for a head light polish...


    get out ur buffing wheel, put some wax on it, give it a good once over, your done. wipe off acess wax.
  15. beerguy6903

    beerguy6903 Guest

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    Wal-mart has the headlight cleaning kit... works amazingly i had tha same problem with my tracer's as me19875 had with his... i put mine on and just went damn... but that lil kit at wal-mart works wonders mine look damn near brand new now...
  16. Sparkyman

    Sparkyman Guest

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    Thanks, Beerguy! After reading your post, I went to Wallyworld and got that stuff...it took a couple of applications, but it made a tremendous difference. I can see again! 8O
  17. aidan80

    aidan80 New Member

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    I been thinking about cleaning my headlights... but I'm no mechanic and would prefer not to have to take anything too big apart but. When you talk about cleaning the headlights and the plastic are you talking about on the outside? or I'm assuming the inside? If it's the inside how is it done on a 98 Escort/Tracer? Do I need to pull the entire headlight out and clean?
  18. ryanrules

    ryanrules FEOA Member

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    outside dood
  19. xravenwingsx

    xravenwingsx New Member

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    I'm soooo going to give this a whack. My car would look like it was in brand new condition if I do this.

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